By LaBetha Casey
A number of SWEPCO leaders were on hand at the Stonewall Government Complex on July 13, 2022, to inform the community of improvements they are currently working on and improvements that are proposed. The come-and-go meeting lasted from 4-6p.m. where those interested could seek information and have one-on-one conversations for specific issues with the company’s representatives. Sheriff Jayson Richardson shared that he and his office have been in communication with SWEPCO for some time and have encouraged them to conduct this venue.
Several color-coded illustration boards were on display which showed their plans of improving service with system changes and modifications. According to Engineer Supervisor, Clint Hollis, there is a 2-year target to convert the Kingston circuit to a Stonewall circuit. In 2010, SWEPCO bought out Valley Electric. Several roads in Stonewall, including Williamson Road and Stanley Road, actually have two lines running on them. One line is from the former Valley Electric and across the road are the SWEPCO lines. These lines will be combined. A second feed will be built in order to provide better service for the Stonewall area.
Representatives from the forestry department, which is in charge of vegetation management and tree trimming, were available to address questions and concerns. Forestry Engineer Supervisor, Stefan Urian, stated that after a community meeting held several years ago that Public Service Commissioner, Foster Campbell initiated, their thought was that trimming trees to keep them from falling onto the lines during storms would greatly eliminate power outages. However, they discovered that rather than tree trimming needs, the problems actually stemmed from transmission issues.
Chelsea Adcock, with the Energy Efficiency Team, was on hand to share about monetary incentives that SWEPCO provides for consumers in order to increase efficiency ratings in homes and businesses. Approved contractors would receive these incentives for installing pool pumps, air-source heat pumps, air conditioning units, electric heat pump water heaters, smart thermometers, weatherization measures and more. Then these incentives are to be passed down to the consumer. A blower door test can be performed to allow consumers to determine what weatherization measures should be taken to provide better energy efficiency. To learn more about their energy efficiency programs, visit SWEPCO.com/Save.
Director of Distribution Engineer, Adam Keith, stated that there are currently 30 crew partners who are already working on these improvements.
SWEPCO leaders are optimistic that these multi-year projects to upgrade service lines, transmission lines and substations will greatly improve electric service for the fast-growing area of Stonewall and help eliminate the frequent power outages.